NIGERIANS ARE BAD PEOPLE–part2
The following post is 2nd in a series titled: NIGERIANS ARE BAD PEOPLE. The first post summarized that Nigerians don’t like to be told the truth.
Disclaimer: Just in case you are a Nigerian reading this and you want to get angry because of the title, please do. You are not the first, and you won’t be the last. The problem with Nigeria is a people problem and you are part of that problem whether you like it or not.
NIGERIANS ARE BAD PEOPLE – they are over-religious and over-religiously religious; they are over religiously-zealous and over-zealously religious. Whichever way you interpret the above grammar, the main thing is that you get the point. Nigerians and Nigerians often make it look as if ‘God is a Nigerian’. From an inherited culture to the 20th century way of life and living, God is everywhere in the Nigerian mindset and point of view.
When I was a young boy, I always felt Nigeria was the best country in the world, and that Nigerians were the best people. The reason was because we knew God and God knew us all. In fact, I almost concluded that Nigeria/Nigerians must have a special place in Gods heart. Why? Because my immediate environment was “God-full”: Churches and Mosques, fellowship-centers were filled with Abrahams and Ibrahims; Ismail’s and Isaac’s, Mariams and Mary’s; Oluwa-this and Oluwa-that. It was / is still common to see schools, business names, labels on houses / cars / gates of houses, etc., named after one/the other disciple of Christ, or using a religious slogan: God is here, beware! The element of God and religion is in the names we bear, the things we do / don’t, the way we dress and what we say. If you don’t know what is happening in Nigeria, you might easily think God has a permanent residence somewhere in the country.
On an average, a Nigerian, Christian/Muslim prays at least 10-times per day. What? In fact, it could be more. These prayer’s could be either long, or "just a word of prayer".
We pray before leaving home and after arrival – even if its as short as “Lord I thank you…..” – which might not be said out loud but a thought that passed through our minds. Others include:
- immediately after waking up / before sleeping,
- before any meals / drinking of water;
- when one is about to sit for an exam, before / after an interview,
- after hearing some bad/good news from a friend/relative/colleague at work;
- before crossing the road, entering/alighting from a bus/taxi, arrival at a destination;
- before / during travel, calling of loved ones to make sure they are fine etc.
The general idea that God exists, we are human and can communicate with Him through Prayer is sown into an average Nigerian’s mind from so early an age. All the above types of prayer is not inclusive of the ones prayed on religious days(sunday, friday) – or during other mid-week services; special occasions / religious public holidays, etc.
On Sundays, anyone you see carrying a Bible is either on the way to a Church or coming from one. If there is no cross around their necks, there must be a Bible in their hands or bags; or they might even be distributing Christian literature, or their name might be something taken from the Bible. If you enter public transport and someone at the back says “let us Pray”, the reaction of people in the bus will tell you who is a Christian or not. Amidst panic / commotion, when an airplane is about to take off or land, wherever you hear ‘Jesus, in the name of Jesus’ is from a Christian’s mouth.
On Fridays, anyone you see with/without a Quoran, dressed in Islamic attire / going towards a Mosque at prayer-time is a Muslim. On weekdays, Christians and Muslims have several mid-week services – just to keep up with God. Yoruba’s and Hausa’s are either Christians / Muslims; Igbo/Ibo’s, the average Easterner is mostly Christian by default / profession, and any of them who claims to be Muslim is usually questionable Islamic material.
I might not have completely described all the religious landmarks for the average Nigerian, but its easy to know who is who. And for those who have perfected their art, who don’t fall immediately into either category – they are called underground Christians/Muslims: non-Church goer Christians and non-Mosque goer Muslims. There are others too, who, because they are from families where Christians and Muslims have inter-married, they maintain an easy middle ground between the two faiths: they become Christians when it is convenient or are Muslims for opportunity.
Every other person who doesn’t meet any of the above has something up their sleeves in terms of occultic beliefs / practices – although they try their very best to hide it from the general public. The reason is because the average Nigerian knows that satan is a bad-guy, so its better to profess something else openly than devil worship. Christians and Muslims will unite together against the devil if they find him on their street, regardless of their own beliefs about who the real deal is: Jesus or Mohammed.
What bothers me with all the religiosity of Nigeria and Nigerians is that none of it so far has translated into anything good for the common man on the street.
I am of the personal opinion that if Christians / Muslims are really practicing their faiths the way these faiths deserve to be practiced; if Christians / Muslims derive so much good from the God’s they serve, which BTW are different entities: Question: Christians and Muslims, what is the difference between our Gods? the faithful practices, the reward from God must translate into a better environment for the world to see.
I am a Christian, and my firm belief is that God wants me to show Him to the world around me, which starts from the people I live with, where I work, my neighbors, etc. Now, if these people that immediately surround me cannot see “a good God” working in me, then my profession is questionable. If the “good God” I claim to believe does not translate into ‘love for my neighbors; honesty, truth, fairness in my workplace; living my life in such a way that the people I live with and the environment that surrounds me become better as a result of my presence; living a life that would make others consider my faith a better alternative to theirs – then my faith is as well questionable.
Now if I could I assume that the real Islam(faith and practice) includes all of the above, why is it that our Nigerian environment is not getting better by the day – with all the millions of Christians and Muslims we have as citizens, with all the thousands of Christian / Muslim politicians we have.
If you ask me if Christianity(faith and practice) is good, I would answer a definite YES. I have asked several of my Muslim friends and colleagues the same question, pertaining to Islam, and they answered a definite YES. In fact, they told me that Islam is the only way to God.
Assumption#1: I would assume that a good religion(faith and practice) should produce good people: faithful believers faithfully practicing the dictates of the good faith.
If we say a faith/belief is good, then this good faith/belief should produce good in us(good people). If we are really really sure that the faith we profess is good, then we must be bad people, for the faith/belief not to work out the good in us.
This is why I say Nigerians are bad people.
I do not think there is any politician in Nigeria who isn’t a Christian or Muslim. I have not heard of any openly professed cultist /satanist among them. Each of them claim to have a passion for Nigeria. And even if there are cultists/satanists among them, they are hidden, and we cannot assume they will be up to 10% of the entire political population.
With the many problems Nigeria presently faces, here are some questions:
- who are we accusing of corruption and bribery if 90% of Nigeria’s politicians are either Christians / Muslims?
- who aides / abets murder, crime, terrorism through influence and financial muscle if 90% of Nigeria’s politicians are either Christians / Muslims?
- who stands accused of tribalism, financial impropriety, money laundering if 90% of Nigeria’s politicians are either Christians / Muslims?
- who rigs elections? on behalf of who is the election rigged for? who gives the go-ahead for an election to be rigged / documents to be falsified if 90% of Nigeria’s politicians are either Christians / Muslims?
- who is the corrupt government if 90% of Nigeria’s politicians are either Christians / Muslims?
Doesn’t the Bible / Quoran have words of advice for Christians / Muslims in positions of political, financial, social and national authority? Is any of the above problems confronting the nation part of the faithful dictates of any faith? are our leaders faithfully serving God as corrupt officials?
Before we lay the blame at the doorsteps of our leaders, we shouldn’t forget that the leaders of today were once ordinary men and women living amongst the rest of us: faithful Christians and Muslims. They attended our Churches and worshipped in our Mosques. We called them brothers and sisters. We shared our pains and grievances of the leaders we say. Before they(our present day leaders) sat on their present political seats, they were with us, pointing fingers at the corrupt governments in their time. They saw the rot and stench that those who have gone before left behind.
The real question is: what changed after assuming power. Did they forget the faith we all believed and professed since childhood? who is to be accused of all the above, if really we are all Christians and Muslims? Then what about us, who are still ordinary men and women. Is it possible, as Christians and Muslims to practice the dictates of our faiths faithfully in such a way that our corrupt leaders will eventually see the truth and good in us?
Nigerians are running away from Nigeria everyday, going to Oyinbo’s land. The in thing now is: Expired Oyinbo Mommy Marriage(EOMM).
But after many years of moving around, getting exposed to different people and cultures, I have observed that these Oyinbo’s are not as half-religious as we are. “Church/Mosque” is like a fairy tale. “God” is not as important to them, as it is to us. All our religious zealousness and practices as Nigerians in Nigeria doesn’t make any meaning to them. But their countries, cities, educational systems, politics, economies, environments, living and working conditions etc., are 100-times better than ours.
They have constant electricity, water, good roads, good homes, security of life and property: the most basic of the basic necessities of life which our religious profession/faith has not been able to help us provide for ourselves. Their God must be definitely different from ours. Where do they go when they die, coz it might not be where we(Nigerians) think we are going?
And yet, we claim our Christianity/Islamic faiths are good?
Nigerians then, must be bad people, because these “good faith’s” does not seem to be having a good effect?
Your comments and opinions are welcome!